Tag Archives: Turkey Mountain

Escape from Turkey Mountain 5 Mile Race 2017

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This morning was my return to the “Escape from Turkey Mountain 5 Mile” race. Two years ago I ran it and injured my knee when I fell on a rock and caused me to miss about two or three months of running while I rehabbed with physical therapy and exercise. Last year I waited to too long to register and they filled up so this year I was ready!! There were a lot of people there and I went to the back for the start.

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And off we went, see all those people ahead of me? They all pretty much stayed ahead of me.

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See all the folks behind me? I think almost all of them finished ahead of me. Strange how that works.

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Up “the Staircase” from the lower yellow trail to the upper yellow. I have been on the staircase before, I just didn’t know that it had a name. Almost every physical feature on Turkey Mountain has a name, usually several names. My favorite trail is “I want my mommy.” Run it sometime, you will be crying for your mommy.

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I am rocking my new running shirt. I love it! Most expensive shirt, of any kind, that I own.

So anyway I finished without falling on anything. I stumbled and almost tripped a few times and slid a few times but managed to stay on my feet. My time was about 1 hr 30 minutes and the distance was about 5.22 miles. So my official time was only about 5 minutes faster than my last run with the knee problem two years ago but the course was a quarter mile longer than then. I am about 20 minutes off the pace I was three years ago. That happens when you are fat, old, and slow.

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So, how was the race? Let me see, great course, check. Nice run shirt, check. Medal, check, Food, they had hamburgers, turned out quickly, check. Beer, check, Marshall’s craft beer, so double check. I’ll be back!!

Thank you to Fleet Feet Tulsa, and the many volunteers who make these races go. Thank you to my fellow runners for adding to the atmosphere.

No thanks to the mountain biker who almost crashed into me from behind while we were both going downhill and yelling at me “$%^$&(*&&*   %^&*&^”. The convention and etiquette is that people who are participating in sanctioned events in a place, have priority over other people. It is not a rule or a law or anything, it is what people do. I would never interfere with a bicycle racer for example, I would most probably stay off the trails they were using. I had never had a bicyclist intrude like that into a trail race before. 99.99% of trail users are very considerate of others using the tracks.

Falling on a rock

This is my knee from two years ago. Lots better today. And I still have those socks!!

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Eight Miles on Turkey Mountain

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During the daylight savings time part of the year I run on Turkey Mountain at least once a week. I hadn’t been on the mountain for two weeks for various reasons so Wednesday night I was ready. I was very fortunate the weather was cool, in the high 80;s and it felt great. I wanted to do seven miles.

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There is a powerline right of way that runs north/south the length of the park and the trail is called powerline also. I used to hate it because I loved the feeling of getting lost in the trees on the other trails but I have come to love powerline. It is up and down and very challenging.

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At a crossroads on the northwest side of the mountain is this dryer. It has been there a long time. There is an unofficial trail on the northwest side called the “Pink Trail” it is so convoluted that I have never been to follow it. I am wondering how this appliance ended up here. It is a long ways from the nearest road.

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Turkey Mountain is roughly two miles long and a mile wide so if you want to do a lot of miles and not loop on yourself constantly you have to plan your route. I did a three miles loop on the east side of the park and about a two mile loop on the west side and then hopped over to east side again to get on another trail. I dropped down to yet another trail via this narrow, steep drop between the rocks. The thing is when I first started exploring Turkey Mountain years ago I tried all the trails and then as time went by I narrowed down to a lot smaller set. It is kind of fun to go rediscover old trails. Also you don’t have crazy bicyclists running you down on trails like this.

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There is something about a trail in the woods that I cannot resist.

So I was looking for seven but got eight due to some miscalculation and finished right at dark. Suited me fine. I am looking forward to my 23rd Tulsa Run 15K in October and i would like to run another half marathon in November. So I need to start ramping up my miles. It is not all training though. My running is a form of meditation for me. I get totally lost and live only in the present. In the woods the only thing I worry about is falling on my face and snakes.

What do you do to get away from it all.

Monday Meanderings

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I have sad news, Apple is not making any more Ipod Nanos. I have three of them including two of the type above with 32 gig of memory. It holds thousands of songs and I use them every single day. I have a brand new iPhone with 128 gigs and I got a bunch of music on it. In fact I have every song I own on it but I love the micro size of the nano and its simplified interface compared to the IPhone. The only drawback is that it is so small. That is why I have two of the above models. I lost and then found the first one.

I have also gone through three Ipod Touches. My first one didn’t have a camera and when I found out about Instagram I had to get a Touch with a camera. I wore that one out. Yep, the buttons wouldn’t work on it at all. I am now on my third. I think they are wonderful devices. All the benefits an none of the costs of an IPhone. Of course I have an Iphone now also. And an Ipad. I love Apple products. They should love me. Apple has made a lot of money off me when I think about it.

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I love the sign above. 20% off the Ten Commandments. What a deal. Take off your least favorite two commandments and don’t worry about them.  What a deal!!

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It has been a long hot summer and I am totally acclimated now. I ran seven miles on Turkey Mountain, after work, last week and it didn’t bother me despite the mid 90 degree heat. I started running the mountain with a hydration pack last year and it makes all the difference in the world. It is a backpack with a 1.5 liter water bladder with it so I can stay hydrated while I run. I recommend it highly.

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One reason I need to run. I love the Chili and toasted, buttered, french bread that I can get at downtown’s Take2 Restaurant. I am guestimating about 1400 calories. My seven miles were probably 1050 calories. So I’m losing the war!!! But I’m enjoying the battle. You know what I think. You cannot enjoy eating and craft beer and lose weight. You know what a good diet would be? Take a bite or a swig and if it tastes good spit it out. You will be skinny as a rail and miserable in no time.

How about you? What have you been up to lately?

Skywatch Friday All About Town

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This is downtown Tulsa. Thursday Heather came down and we had lunch and then we had ice cream at a fancy new shopping center downtown built out of storage containers. It is called the BoxYard. It is all so fancy and new. They let me in though so it can’t be that fancy.

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This is the view out of our office window Thursday morning. We had a fraction of an inch of moisture an it was welcome. We haven’t had too much rain lately.

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I went running on Tulsa’s Turkey Mountain Urban Wilderness on Wednesday night. I love it on Turkey Mountain.

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This is another view out the office window on a sunny day. This effect is generated by a “Tiny Planet” App on my cell phone. There are lots of them. I love a good cheap app.

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This is our neighborhood last week.Sorry about the grainy photo but I loved the color.

This week I’m linking with Skywatch Friday

Skywatch Friday – The Lakes of Turkey Mountain

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One of the ponds on Turkey Mountain late in the afternoon. We have had a good amount of rain on the mountain this spring so many of the ponds are full of water. For some reason, the ponds are called lakes. I’m okay with that. The sky is a little vague in this photo but I like the light on vegetation in the foreground and I like the reflection of the sun also.  So I’m going with it and hope you don’t mind.

Come join us at Skywatch Friday!

Skywatch Friday – Storm Coming on Turkey Mountain

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One day after work when I was on the east bank of the Arkansas River looking across trying to figure out whether to run on Turkey Mountain or not which is the hill to the right. I decided to go ahead and stayed dry for the most part. I really look forward to my Wednesday night runs on the mountain or the river and rarely cancel them. I always feel like a kid when school has let out especially when the weather is decent. I hardly ever see anybody else especially when I’m more than a quarter mile from the parking lot.

I’m linking with Skywatch Friday

Outdoor Wednesday – Half and Half Run across the Arkansas River to Turkey Mountain and Back

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On Saturdays I drop the kid off for his Comedy Improv workshop. I have about an hour and a half to do something before I pick him up. Sometimes I go the Philbrook Museum or if I hurry I can get over to the Fairgrounds for the boat show or something. Last Saturday the weather was beautiful and I thought I would go for a run.

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What I call the Bear Fountain. I loved the guy taking a nap on the bench on the far right. The fountain is always a cool spot.

My favorite place for a run is Turkey Mountain but there is not much parking so I decided to park on Riverside Drive and run across the Arkansas River bridge to Turkey Mountain and then run back. It would give me a taste of both trail running and pavement running with no parking hassles.

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Heading west across the Arkansas River. That hill way off yonder ( as we say in Oklahoma) is Turkey Mountain. I know that most places it is just a hill, but it is Tulsa’s Turkey Mountain.

The wind was a gale coming from the south and running across the east west bridge was quite fun. I had to hold my hat to keep it from blowing into the river. I’m cheap you see. I like to wear stuff until it wears out. When I give stuff to Goodwill, there is not a whole lot of use left in it. They say they can use the fiber so give’em what they got. That is all they get from is fiber, with holes in it.

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Across the river, up a little embankment and then into a not so secret entry point into the Turkey Mountain trails system. There are all sorts of little ins and outs to the trails at Turkey. I have been running the trails for years and am still learning things.

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And then on to the Red Trail. The Red Trail is  a short trail that enters and exits the lower parking lot.

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And then I took a branch of the Red Trail that went along a chain link fence.

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Most Okies wear more clothes than these two. We weigh a lot more than they do also.

And then got to the main paved trail where these folks were “Out standing in their field” so to speak. I am glad for their sake that it was a little cool for ticks.

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And then up the steep hill to the lower parking lot. It sounds kind of funny as I write this, “going up a steep hill to the lower parking lot.” Well you should see the climb to the upper parking lot!

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I almost caught him. Badge of shame for a biker is to be passed by an old, fat “runner”

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And then re-enter the red trail down this way.

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And then back on the approach to the bridge across the river. Right behind a bunch of cyclists.

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Downhill and then level all the way to the end!

They sure left me in the dust!! And then back across the river to the car.

Mission Accomplished!! Finished in less than an hour. Had plenty of time to gas up the car and grab lunch for Logan and I at Braums. We needed to get home cuz we had an appointment with ATT concerning Logan’s lost cell phone. But that is another story!!

I’m linking with Outdoor Wednesday 

 

AeroGeocaching on Turkey Mountain

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Saturday morning I dropped the kid off at his Improv class and I drove to Turkey Mountain and hobbled around a bit. I say hobbled because for about a month now running has been very painful and I can’t hardly go up or down stairs. That is frustrating because I generally take stairs when I can and always walk up and down escalators. Now, walking up is painful but doable, walking down is out of the question. Things are getting better but not quick enough to suit me. I know patience is required so I am walking a lot and doing the elliptical machine thing. On Wednesday nights I run very short distances in between long walking interludes.  So anyway back to Turkey Mountain. I have found almost all the non-micro sized geocaches there so I went for a couple I hadn’t found yet. The first one was close to a homeless camp that now looks abandoned. (It sure is a mess!!!!) This cache was easy to find. See up in the tree?

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I read the description and guess what, climbing apparatus is required. While I am not doing it at all climbing gear or not. Unfortunately I can’t log it unless I sign the log inside. No partial credit allowed. Oh well. I was glad to find it. The next time we have a clean up on Turkey Mountain we’ll need to clean up the dude’s camp. Plus there is another one, that may be occupied, about a hundred yards north.  It needs to go as well.

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The next cache I found, or didn’t find, was also up in a tree. And this one, maybe, just maybe? But no, it is on a steep slope and remote and if I slipped or fell I would be in a world of hurt especially by myself. I could get this one with a ladder. I have a light portable ladder that I have packed into woods to retrieve caches safely and this might be one of them. Later.

Mind the Gap

I wandered around some more and found this. It is a bicycle jump across a ravine. I love the “Caution Gap” signs. They are probably needed because as you can see if you are on this side and tearing down the hill on your bicycle you are not going to see that it is not a bridge it is a jump. How does one do this for the first time? I guess you start out by not being as chicken as I am. You can also see that the structure has more problems than the gap. The first few boards are missing. See that bypass off to the right with the small bridge. That is more my speed.

I have yet to take my bicycle to Turkey Mountain. I have seen some bicyclists do incredible things. Like bend their wheels out of round or their frames and they have to carry their bikes two miles to the parking lot. I have also seen other guys go up and down hillsides that I thought were pretty much vertical. One day I saw a couple of mountain unicyclers tearing down the hill on the knobby tired unicycles. They are long poles they were using like skiers use ski poles but still, it was amazing.

Anyway, I had a great walk out in the woods on a beautiful chilly breezy, sunny January day. So, mission accomplished.

Our World – A Run on Turkey Mountain

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Saturday morning started out cool with a chance of rain. I thought about putting up the outside Christmas lights on house but I don’t like doing that in the rain. I don’t mind running in a light rain though. I have the gear for it. So after dropping the kid off at his Improv Comedy class I headed to Turkey Mountain. There was hardly anyone there.

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It was kind of a dreary gray day, just the way I like them, and so off I went with a vague desire to do about five miles plus or minus and take some new trails. The big well used trails are fine but I love the fainter seldom used ones also. As you can see there were lots of dry leaves on the ground. The squirrels were having a field day running around in them making a racket.

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I take it as a point of honor to never (well almost never) turning back on a trail because it disappears or requires climbing up or down a cliff. This trail ended up requiring it. It is at the far north end of Turkey Mountain and I had to climb down a steep hill and then climb back up out on the other side of the draw. Oh well. Slows me down but I’m not in it for the speed.

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I saw only one bicyclist and very few other people the whole time I was out there.

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I guess that somebody lost their camo hat and some other person picked it up and stuck it on a tree. I always wonder who besides a hunter needs camo gear. When I’m out in the woods, I want to be seen.

Being out in the woods in nature is a great escape. Maybe I’ll do the lights on Sunday. The Cowboys aren’t playing you know.

I’m linking with Our World Tuesday.

Turkey N Taturs 10K Trail Race on Turkey Mountain

Sunday morning, TATUR (“Tulsa Area Trail and Ultra Runners”) held their “Turkey N Taturs” races,10K, 25K, and 50K all on Turkey Mountain. I ran the 10K which for this crowd is like a fun run.

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The start was cool, sunny, and dry, perfect for running.

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The course was a good mixture of flat and level, hills, rocks, and roots. It had a great rhythm to it. Being Sunday morning there were not too many other people out on the mountain.

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I ran about half the race by myself and the last half with a friend who had about the same pace as I did. Running with somebody makes the race a lot easier. I tend to go faster when I’m with somebody.

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One of the great things about trail races is the aid stations. I had a shot of some sort of liquor at this one. I’m not sure if that was a good idea or not. It kind of stuck with me for a while.

As you can see the course wound all over the mountain. The 25K and 50K guys looped over the east side to get their distances in. The 50K was two laps of the 25K route.

And a good time was had by all. Last I checked I finished dead last out of 32 men who had finished by then. But hey, I beat everybody who slept in that day right?

A big thank you to fine folks at  TATUR and the many volunteers that it takes to put on an event like this and to my fellow racers.